Monday, December 31, 2012


The year has passed
And opportunities have been
Seized, or missed.

What will 2013 bring?
Will chances be missed
Or taken?

We may try
But we really can't predict
What will happen.

But we do have choices
And they affect our future
For good, or for bad.

Make them with care;
Make them wisely; then hope,
And pray, for the best.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Unfathomable

A twisted mind has torn
Our nation apart.
Innocent children have been
Sent to their graves
Way before their times.

The ones left behind
Are heartbroken and bewildered
By this senseless crime,
Leaving loved ones
Without their greatest treasure--their children.

This unthinkable tragedy
Tests the survivors ability to survive,
Perhaps their faith.
Making them wonder
How such a thing could happen.

But God is always in his heaven,
In charge of all,
Even when the WHY of such events
Is unfathomable.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Christmas Visitor

There are times in our lives
When we must take chances
On people and on things.

A man came to my house
On Christmas Eve
Asking to rake the leaves
For money to buy gifts
For his children.

I offered a donation,
Handing him a ten-dollar bill.
"I'd rather work," he said,
Taking up his rake and
Moving sycamore leaves
To the center of the yard.

Who is this man, I wondered?
The beggar of the Bible
Came to mind and I dismissed it.

When he was done,
I handed him half of my homemade fruitcake.
Eyes focused on the floor, he said,
"I hope the work I've done for you
Equals the love you've shown to me."

My "Merry Christmas" was a greeting
To the Jesus in all men.


Giftless Christmas

The year I was six years-old, I'd waited what seemed like forever for Christmas day to come. Since I had two siblings and money was tight, getting the bicycle I'd asked for was a big deal.  At least I halfway still believed in Santa Claus and he was going to bring my bike. When I heard my parents discussing Christmas in the dining room when they thought I was asleep in the next room, the other half of my brain told me they'd have to come up with the money for gifts.

"My salary has almost been cut in half," my dad said. "In this economy, I'm lucky to have a job at all."

"I know, Roy," my mom told my father, "but we have to do something for our kids this Christmas. They're only young once."

And I knew my parents. They would do "something." Somehow, I still expected to get that bike.

Two days before the big day, I had a bad cold and a fever. I stayed in bed. Even on Christmas morning, my mother said, "You're still sick, but you can come to the table for breakfast and into the living room while we open presents. Then it's back to bed with you."

We had our traditional Christmas breakfast of juice, bacon, eggs and grits. We three children ate as fast as we could, and then lined up by the closed dining room door waiting for our father to ceremoniously open it.
When he did, I first saw the box of presents my favorite aunt, my mother's sister, always brought. Since she had no children, she doted on us. Then I looked around. No bicycle. Where was it? Outside? Nope. It wasn't by the front door. My heart sank.

My dad played Santa. He called out names one by one. I opened practical gifts of socks and pajamas, but I quickly cast them aside. Then my mother handed me a card. It read:

"I couldn't make it down the chimney with your bike, but I'll have it delivered to you next Tuesday.

I stuck out my bottom lip. Then I started wondering how many children had a letter from Santa Claus. And I began to believe in him again. What did it matter if I didn't get my bike on Christmas Day? I was sick. I couldn't ride it now anyhow. I pressed the letter to my chest. It was a treasure greater than any bicycle.

I did get the bicycle the next week, but I wasn't home when it arrived. My parents made sure of that. I rode that bike for several years, but I kept the letter longer. Longer than my belief in the man in the red suit. When it got away from me somehow, I spent lots of time looking for it. But I never found it.  I guess that's part of life. Things getting away from you. Still, I treasure that memory of that giftless Christmas--it wasn't really giftless at all.